A look at Prince Avenue Christian, who Bryan County plays Friday night in a Class A-D1 Final Four matchup, quickly tells you the Redskins are going to have to play an exceptional game if they are going to continue their magical playoff run.
The game will bring together two teams who offer up quite a contrast in levels of success and styles of play.
To begin with the Wolverines are the defending state champions and are looking to make their fifth straight appearance in the state championship game. They also won it all two years ago.
While Prince Avenue is considered football royalty, the Redskins are making their seventh appearance in the state playoffs in 46 years of football and this is the first time they’ve gotten past the first round.
Then there’s the style of play.
Bryan County relies on its punishing running game to wear opponents down whereas Prince Avenue puts up one of the most prolific passing attacks in the state. Redskins defensive backs will get a workout against a sophisticated Wolverine attack.
PAC quarterback Aaron Philo has, by his standards, had a down year but nevertheless the numbers are impressive. The Georgia Tech commit has thrown for 3,338 yards and 41 touchdowns for a team averaging 45.6 points per game.
In three years as a starter Philo has passed for 12,664 yards and 148 touchdowns. His best season was as a sophomore when he had 4,588 yards and 54 touchdowns while leading the Wolverines to a state championship. He has 836 completions in 1,174 attempts.
While those are impressive numbers, he’s still shy of state records: Trevor Lawrence, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, threw for 13,902 yards at Cartersville High School, Gunnar Stockton of Rabun County had 878 completions, Jake Fromm of Houston County had 1,360 attempts and Stockton finished with 177 touchdown passes.
Prince Avenue has five receivers with 28 or more catches led by freshman Hudson Hill with 39 for 866 yards and 12 touchdowns. CJ Docker has 39 for 661 and 12 touchdowns.
Philo has also run for 526 yards and 12 touchdowns. Senior Conner Causby has 810 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing.
The Wolverines are also no pushover defensively. Anyone who has watched the last four state championship games on GPB television have seen teams which are physical and fly to the football.
Prince Avenue Christian is located in Bogart which is essentially in Athens and according to Map Quest it is a 203-mile drive for Redskins fans.